A new council initiative is helping businesses cut harmful emissions and boost local air quality.

Islington Council has launched a zero emissions network (ZEN) in the Archway area, only the second in the capital, as part of its ongoing campaign to improve the borough’s environment.

Building on the award-winning ZEN City Fringe project, Archway ZEN will make the area a cleaner, healthier place to work and do business. It will help local firms switch to lower-emission energy and transport options that reduce local air pollution, improve staff wellbeing and save money. The project offers trials and services tailored to the Archway business community.

Cllr Claudia Webbe, executive member of environment and transport, said: “Zero emissions networks are yet another way for Islington Council to lead the way on reducing unnecessary and harmful emissions from our town centres and neighbourhoods.

“It makes good business sense to sign up to the ZEN – customers increasingly prefer to deal with businesses that can show they care about their environmental impact and take steps to reduce it, and it helps cut running costs and improve air quality.

“Whether it is helping businesses switch to energy-efficient lighting, or giving them the means to undertake local deliveries by bike or electric scooter, every little helps.

“We have seen excellent take-up by businesses in the City Fringe ZEN in the south of the borough, and it’s encouraging to see so many already having signed up to become part of a brighter, more eco-friendly future here in Archway too.”

Already some 50 businesses have signed up to the project, including Map Gift Shop in Junction Road. Its owner Ian Morris said: “With the rising costs of energy we thought it would be a good idea, as there would be a financial saving for us. We are looking to change the lighting in the shop, and we also realised that anything we can do to lower the pollution rate locally, the better.”

Archway ZEN aims to engage every local business with a variety of incentives including free trials of cargo delivery bikes and cycle training for all staff, free trials of electric cars, vans and scooters, free building energy audits and help finding the cheapest energy tariffs. It also offers grants for cycling facilities and energy efficiency improvements, and free business membership to Zipcar with driving credits.

Second Chance charity shop in St John’s Way is looking into the free trial of a new cargo bicycle. Manager Barry Brundage said: “The chance to trial a cargo bicycle could help us offer local deliveries of purchases from the store to customers.

“The deliveries will generate zero emissions, helping us operate sustainably and spread the message of improving air quality in the area.”

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